Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Girl in the Gator

Booth and Bones are exiting the diner and get a phone call with information. An ice cream truck is passing on the street in front of them and playing music. Booth can't hear his phone call. After arguing with the driver, he shoots the clown head which crowns the truck.

So, I get that his aim is good and he knew he'd get the clown, but how did he know the bullets would not exit the clown and hurt bystanders? Brennan exclaims, "That is not ok."

Following the incident, he has to meet with a psychiatrist. So, the ptb didn't mean for that to pass as (just) humor. They intended for it be outrageous. What a relief. Maybe Booth is dealing with unresolved feelings concerning Epps' death.

There's a case in Florida, a body in an alligator. They are assigning someone else to Brennan. Andrew Sullivan. With his dark hair and sunglasses on, when he first turns around I'm reminded of David Duchovny. When Brennan hears about her knew partner she's not too pleased. So, she has to break in this Agent Sullivan? Booth says that he has not been broken in by her. I am disappointed that I won't get to see them in the Everglades together.

Bones arrives in Florida. As she goes to tend to the gator, Sullivan (Sully) wants to check out a boat that is for sale. He barks orders to her and I initially think he is obnoxious. She says, "Booth helps." He replies that that is "because Booth can't relax." So, the image they're setting up for Booth is that he always has to be doing something.

Meanwhile, Booth needs to have a discharge paper signed by a psychiatrist, before he can return to work. He goes to the doctor's home. A middle-aged English fellow who welcomes Booth warmly and offers his hand. I'm glad he ignored Wyatt's outstretched hand. Wish I could avoid handshakes myself.

Sully knows both Booth and Cam too. Back at the lab, Cam greets Sully with warmth and laughter. I wonder if something will start up between them.

The doctor asks Booth, "What were you really aiming at when you drew a bead on that unfortunate clown?"

As Bones and Sully investigate, witness Abby was a friend of the dead girl's. They were out going wild during spring break. College kids. She says she doesn't know who victim might have been with. "We met so many guys. You know how it is," she says to Brennan. Sully says, "I'm guessing that she (Brennan) doesn't." Does he know Brennan well enough to make that assumption? Of course, it is good for a chuckle. Like the other characters he doesn't mind talking about a colleague's personal life in front of third parties, investigators, witnesses. They just don't care. They'll discuss each other's intimate details and quite matter-of-factly. Hilarious, but strange that it's not peculiar to one character's personality and that they just have all of them do it, unrealistically.

When Wyatt asks about Booth's dad, Booth says he is barking up the wrong tree. He says he and his dad were tight. But earlier he said wasn't used to drinking tea with men and so Wyatt concludes that Booth is "pretty rigid in your assignment of gender roles."

Booth disagrees. "My partner's a woman, a woman who needs my help." Her sex alone doesn't indicate he doesn't have rigid gender roles. Plus, even though he didn't mean it that way, the fact that he said she needs his help may fall right into what the doctor was saying about gender roles. Does he think all women need his help? The doctor asks about his love life. He says he just broke it off with someone. "Me and I ended it." It was a her, let's get that straight. Ok. He makes sure that the doctor knows that he was not dumped and is not gay either.

The doctor inquires further about his ex. They were together a couple of months this time. They had dated before. A few years ago and he broke it off when his ex wanted to give it another go. Does Wyatt think he shot the clown because he can't let go of the women in his life, Booth smirks. Wyatt says he's off base. Excellent theory but quite wrong. Does that mean that Wyatt thinks Booth can't STAY with the women in his life?

At the lab, Zach says to Cam, "Angela doesn't like me being her superior." Cam says, "Because you're acting superior." He replies, "That's what a superior is." Cam says that Angela is not just a subordinate; she's a friend and don't be an ___. Funny coming from her who is always pulling rank and telling people she's in charge.

Monty is a take on the "Girls Gone Wild" video producer. Bones and Sully go to talk to him. He says, to Bones of Sully, "Your boyfriend has no warrant," so people just don't assume she and Booth are together. Whenever a man and woman are together, the public thinks of them as a couple, I guess. This happened to me once, when I was having lunch with a boss.

Sully says, "She's with me." Bones objects, "I'm not with him. He's with me." So, Booth is not the only one who has trouble with gender roles. Does Sully think he's the one in charge?

Brennan does the objectify women thing that she did in the Hollywood episode. Complaining about how the girls were exploited in Monte's video.

Sully is enthusiastic about a hoagie he got. Takes a bite of his sandwich and says he wants to open a restaurant. Bones said she thought he was going to buy a boat. He says he'll do both. Doesn't he want to be an FBI agent? He likes being an agent, but he doesn't want it to be the only thing he ever was. Does she want to study bones all of her life? She spent years studying anthropology, she says, which isn't exactly an answer. He says that's great, but she shouldn't let it ruin her life. So, is this a contrast from Booth. Booth only wants to be an FBI agent, right? Brennan takes a bite of his sandwich too. For a doctor, she sure is quick to swap germs with a stranger.

Booth initially thought he was going to get his release paper signed right away, but when the doctor heard he didn't have a work-related reason for shooting the clown, he didn't sign. Now, he has brought Bones back for multiple sessions.

"Have you have insight into why you shot the clown?" Booth is on the phone. "yes, I have insight that's my partner calling." He didn't interrupt himself because the phone rang. To me, it was almost like tptb were trying to connect his partner to the reason he shot the clown. Brennan's phone call read like an answer to Wyatt's question.

Brennan wants the lowdown on Sully. Booth says, Sully lost his partner a year ago and she should go easy on him. So, he's basically a good guy, which I kind of got from the way Cam greeted him and also the way he sarcastically told the video producer yeah he has to spend all day with an actual woman. He (Monte) ought to try it some time. Even though he comes on like a boor, he's not sexist as I expected he would be in the beginning when he told Bones to get to cutting the gator.

The doctor talks about Epps. Booth says, "He tried to kill my partner and threatened my son." In that order.

Booth says he doesn't feel guilty about Epps' fall. He makes a joke about Epps jumping in reaction to Brennan and says sometimes he wishes he could jump too, meaning that Brennan drives him crazy sometimes. Wyatt probes.

He jokes a lot doesn't he? Wyatt observes. That makes Wyatt feel like such a bully for prying.

As they investigate, Brennan grabs and twists Monte's arm when he calls her a feminist crusader and stabs a finger at her. When she covers up her brutality, Sully plays along with her and says that he saw Monte assault her first. I guess Brennan likes this, that he sticks with her.

The writing is clearly on the wall now. I guess Brennan will have a thing with Sully. She even likes the way he knows technical medical terms for parts of the body. She doesn't have to break it down for him, as she does for Booth. I can see the attraction this time, as opposed to past episodes. Sully didn't come onto her smarmy like the other guys did, even though she proceeded to fall immediately for their phony lines. Sully isn't flirting with her (yet) and she didn't immediately fancy him. So, it's a more gradual (if you can call one episode gradual) and welcome pairing, if it forms.

Angela goes to get a bite to eat. Now they all hang out at the diner and not at the Wang Foo (?) place we saw in early episodes.

The victim's father saw her picture in the newspaper and followed Angela to the diner, because he wants to know what's happening on the case. Creepy. I guess the whole world read that newspaper article on the team that just came out in last week's episode. Angela says she can't talk about the case, but tentatively does. Angela said too much to the victim's dad. By what she refused to say, she telegraphed that she thinks Monte was the killer and it's premature for her to have come to that conlcusion anyway. Now the father's off for revenge. Hopefully, she'll tell someone that what she said in the encounter may have set the dad off. She does, but the dad kills Monte anyway. Turns out Monte was a rapist, so Angela doesn't have to feel too guilty about his death, but because there was vaginal bleeding and bruising and she was crying when she was let out of Monte's bus does not mean that he raped her acually. Monte made her cry, but who is to say he caused the bruising? Couldn't the actual killer, French Stewart's preacher, have done that? The body was in too bad of a condition to give DNA evidence, I think. So, when Brennan told the father that Judy didn't "want it," as Monte boasted she did, she was actually jumping to conclusions. She can't actually be positive that Monte was the rapist. Unless his goons confess that he was later.

Brennan is pleased when Sully says, "I wouldn't bet against her," when Monte's men say that she can't prove Monte raped Judy.

Booth is put to work by Wyatt building his barbecue. Monte notes that he does it well. Booth's behavior doing things well is indicative of the need to control his environment. He needs control, especially being a member of an homgoenizing organization like the FBI. Well, that makes sense, that you need to be maintain your independence and integrity in an organization famous for forced assimilation. On the other hand, of the characters on the show, Booth is not the one I'd label a control freak first. He might be better defined by all of the ways that he actually lacks control, starting with Parker and going on to the workplace.

His phone rings again. He must feel that they are making progress he didn't expect, because this time he wants to continue with the doctor, so when Bones calls him he doesn't use her interruption as an excuse to stop therapy. He wants to get off the call. He asks Wyatt why he leaves when Booth gets a call and Wyatt counters with why does Booth take the call, when he knows that it will make Wyatt leave? Well, it's not unusual to walk away when someone gets a phone call. I don't know why Bones asked that. Leaving the room, gives them privacy if nothing else, at worst it indicates that the person waiting for you to finish the call won't stay while they are rudely letting someone who is not even there come between you.

On the phone Brennan wants to know if all the stuff Sully says he can do is true. Oh you mean that carpenter stuff? Bones says that Sully built something for him last year, so it is true, but that's not even what Brennan was talking about.

"He's a carpenter as well?" "As well as what?" She has to go, Sully is calling. They have to go and investigate, Brennan tells Booth. "We're doing what . . . we did." Booth sees that she's impressed with Sully and not missing him and says, "Well, I'll be back soon." Booth gets the idea that she likes Sully. So now he'll really have something to talk to the doctor about. He's jealous, but even if he didn't like her in that way, wouldn't he get a little antsy thinking he was being replaced on his job and by someone doing it especially well?

French Stewart is good as the crazed preacher. But again, when a known actor is hired (like Ryan O'Neal in the past), you've got to figure he's going to be the killer.

Sully is continuing to talk to Brennan about leaving the force. Murders, deaths, corpses, you can't do that your whole life. There's got to be more. I guess in the future we will hear about his partner's death.

She invites Sully to the diner. "Booth says the pie is the best." Doesn't she have her own perception of the pie? Why channel Booth's? She is always bringing him up when talking to another guy. Sully wants to buy her a slice. The case has been solved. They aren't working together anymore and since they have no professional obligations he can ask her out. He offers her a 24 hour waiting period, if she wants to adjust, but she doesn't need it. She says her brain adjusts quite quickly. So, how much of her attraction to him is because he's not off limits the way Booth is. Of course, in his defense, he's not exactly rebound material.

At Wyatt's, over the course of their therapy, Booth has built the man's entire barbecue, using 180 bricks (reminds me of Lucy and Ethel unbuilding the boys' barbecue). Booth has bought steaks, $50 each, for them to cook. Prime rib eye.

Wyatt is not counseling Booth now so much as subtly letting him know he should stop feeling guilty about Epps. The FBI report says there's nothing he could have done to save Epps and his partner and the sniper across the street say the same thing. He shouldn't feel guilty. He doesn't. Yeah. So why is it that he endangered innocent people in a public thoroughfare by discharging his revolver.

"I'm a good shot. I didn't put anybody in danger." Yeah, but he can only control the gun, not it's path AFTER it hits its target. I wish someone would point that out to him. Wyatt wonders how many people he's killed as a sniper. Booth says he doesn't know, but Epps doesn't buy it. If he knows how many bricks were in the barbecue, he knows how many people he killed.

Epps makes 50 lives he's taken, Booth slowly admits. Hmm. I wonder how many Angel took. So, 50, are they saying the bicentennial milestone set him off huh and made him go a little crazy? Not believable, but ok.

"Did Epps fall or did you release him. Was he your 50th kill or did you just happen to be there when he died?"

After some honest stuttering, Booth said he doesn't know. "I had him and I lost him and something happened in between. I don't know." Ha, the doctor is good as he pins Booth down with questions. But Anthony Stewart Head would have been good (great) too. Not too soon for DB to work with him again.

Considering my criticism of the last episode, the fact that they left it murky for a reason so that Booth himself could grapple with what happened on the balcony is great. They didn't want the audience to question what happened so much as they wanted us to believe Booth questioning it.

The doctor says that he believes Booth, because for a man like him to admit that he doesn't know, when he loves to have control, that could cause a disruption in his self view large enough to motivate him to shoot a clown. Hovering over Booth's release papers, the doctor says he's changed his mind. Booth looks pained, but not angry. Almost ashamed, accepting of the verdict if the doctor feels he's not fit. Booth is wrong though. He thought the doctor had changed his mind about letting Booth return to work, but Wyatt says he changed it about letting Booth cook them steaks for dinner! Booth kind of exhales, gives a choked smile. Wyatt signs the discharge paper for Booth.

Booth is near tears. The vulnerability is real, but understated. Extremely well played by DB. I'd put this on his emmy reel. And good writing from a show that used to hit us over the head with things as they did in that awful Christmas episode where Booth's son was revealed. Things have definitely improved since then.

Really nice ending, away from the case, away from what is budding between Brennan and Sully and tenderly showing us something about a lead character. Information that will bide us well over the series' run.

The doctor wants his steak medium rare, Mr. G-Man. Booth, softly: "I can do that. I can do that." A fine contrast to the way the last show ended with Booth saying that he didn't know how to put things back together. And repeating his words then, "I don't know how" just as he did today: "I can do that."

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